Honey Fraud obscenity continues

The Philippine supermarkets are still cheating their customers

For many years the nations supermarkets have been stocking vast quantities of fake honey despite clear evidence of the fraud they are perpetrating. The following pictures are from the SM supermarkets (pictures below are from Iligan City, Oct 31st 2015.) It’s the same story with all the nations major supermarkets!

At any one time, there  is more ‘Philippine honey’ on the shelves from CEM than is produced by the country in the whole of the year! Essentially, it’s all the same factory produced syrup mixed with dubious imported product, packaged up fraudulently as quality Philippine genuine honey. The CEM company care nothing for the truth and continue to defraud millions of innocent customers. In a country as civilised as the Philippines this activity is an obscenity.

Notice that the genuine SueBee honey is about THREE times the price! It doesn’t take a genius to appreciate that CEM and the supermarkets are prepared to continue the fraudulent honey business for as long as the FDA let them get away with it.



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Honey Fraud investigation status

No conclusions yet from the FDA investigation that has been underway since January !

The CEM company is still stacking up the nation’s supermarket shelves with fraudulent honey and cheating millions of innocent consumers.

Sadly, this scandal is also indirectly hurting millions of farmers who have declining fruit crops due to poor pollination, since people are being conned into thinking that the Philippines must have plenty of bees! There is a hope that if the scandal is exposed then more people will begin to realise that the country is suffering from a pollination crisis that has to be tackled to avoid increasing agricultural and environmental damage.

P.S. Sorry that there has been few posts on this web site recently, since I have been busily working in England. However, I try to keep up to date with the situation in the Philippines and will continue to work for this overwhelmingly decent country that deserves a better future. I just wish that more Filipinos would try harder to think about what is happening in their own country, and then help do something to improve the situation!


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FDA Honey Fraud investigation is still active

I have just received an email from the FDA assuring me that the FDA investigation is still active…

“Dear Mr. Wright, there are actions being done sorry if your email not
promptly replied by the assigned staff, rest assured your report is under
I am copying in this email xxxxx xxxxx to oversee this
investigation and Atty xxxx xxxxx to help guide in legal matters.

xxxxx, handle and feedback pls.
Atty. xxx, any legal support and opinion is highly appreciated.”

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No response from FDA on Honey Fraud

Perhaps the FDA email and internet system is ‘faulty’ since no responses have been received!!??

Hopefully the FDA phone system is working, so I will try to contact officials in the FDA directly by phone next week.

I will post the result in a couple of weeks.

NOTE: http://beephilippines.info/fda-honey-fraud-investigation-is-still-active/

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FDA Honey Fraud investigation ?

It appears that FDA officials have gone quiet on Honey Fraud ?!

Despite repeated requests for information from the FDA, sadly no response is forthcoming. The reasons could be one or more of the following…

  • Officials responsible for investigating Honey Fraud are ‘asleep on the job’.
  • The commitment to investigate Honey Fraud was not genuine.
  • Some form of ‘pressure’ or ‘incentive’ to drop the investigation has taken place.
  • Officials fail to understand the impact of Honey Fraud on the Philippine nation.
  • Officials don’t care about the knock-on impact of Honey Fraud on millions of Philippine citizens and on the Philippine agriculture and environment as a result of the worsening pollination crisis.

Click on the following pdf to see evidence of the situation..

FDA Honey Fraud enquiries

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Why bees are important !

This is the Epilogue from the novel Post to Post Links II error: No post found with slug "honey-passion"

Bees have been discovered in amber over 100 million years old, frozen in time, as if immortalized in their own honey. Bees were buzzing around the first flowers during the age of the dinosaurs, when creatures such as Tyrannosaurus rex preyed on Triceratops.

Over millions of years most plant species then evolved to create flowers.

Nature had very good reasons for making this happen.

A hundred million years is not so very long in our planet’s history, yet a lot happened in fifty million, million minutes. Gondwanaland broke apart to gradually form the continents we know today. Great land masses drifted north and crashed together again, surrounded by the ever-changing oceans. Islands broke off and moved. The tropical islands of the Pacific were formed by parts of the continents breaking off, and also by crustal and volcanic activity.

Sixty five million years ago, in a few minutes, a massive meteor caused climate change and mayhem that signalled the demise of the dinosaurs and the birth of many new life forms. The flowering plants and buzzing bees lived on through the mayhem and into the next epoch.

Trial and error, survival born from success had proven the need for sex. Sex shuffles the deck of life – the genes of inheritance – passed on through the generations, giving a better chance of adapting and surviving. For animals and plants the age-old struggle for life has always had sex at its centre.

Plants appear to have no awareness of what all this means, but they are driven by a desire to increase their number. Sex is vital for them so that they can have healthy progeny which may be better survivors. They can spread their roots and shoots into new territory, but being rooted to the ground they cannot run about to hug each other in sexual ardour, so they must find other ways to shuffle the deck of genes.

Many plants, such as the grasses, gamble on casting into the wind billions and billions of their tiny masculine pollen grains hoping that a few, by chance, will land on the feminine stigmas of another plant of the same species. Most pollen is lost in this lottery but enough female organs are found that they can make seeds to spread their species still further.

But some plants found animal friends, especially bees, to carry their male pollen grains straight to the female stigma. The trick was to entice the friend with an attractive flower, a gift of fragrant energy-rich nectar to sip, and some nutritious pollen to be stuck onto their body. Now when the animal friend visits another flower there will be a good chance of botanical sex – or pollination as we call it. For the plant this was a more effective and efficient way of transferring their pollen. (For millions of years nature has always provided plenty of pollinators to do the job – until modern humans arrived.)

The colours and fragrances of those ancient flowers may have been something like our own favourite flowers. Indeed, flowers such as Magnolia have been around since the dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Humans often like to imagine that these flowers were made for us to enjoy. Maybe they were, but long before us, the plants had made a pact with the bees: “We grow these flowers to feed you with nectar and pollen, so then you can do something for us. All we ask is that you, our flying furry messengers of love, take our pollen to another flower and help us have sex.”

The collaboration between plants and animals over millions and millions of years created amazingly beautiful and complex designs for achieving mutual success. The plants achieved pollination and the pollinators collected food. Each of countless generations shuffling the deck a little more, sometimes being lucky and sometimes not. The lucky ones survived and lots of practise achieved great things. The flowers became so cleverly and elegantly designed that we can appreciate their beauty, and the bees became their supreme messengers of botanical love. And so, over millions of years, nature’s pact between the plants and the bees has become fundamental for so much life on our planet. (However, many humans do not appreciate the importance of this relationship.)

Some bees found great success by working closely together as a family, developing their own complex civilisations in colonies of many thousands of individuals. To care for each other the honeybees created intricate wax combs to raise their young and store their food of pollen and honey. For numerous millennia the bees have made honey from the flower nectars and plant saps to provide themselves with a naturally healthy food containing a complex mix of sugars, anti-oxidants and other bioactive agents.

Humans of various forms first strode onto the scene about a hundred thousand years ago. They surely wondered why the world was the way it was, but they had only the faintest inkling. Early humans were too busy keeping themselves alive to study such things, although it is very possible that more advanced cultures realised the basic reasons for a plant having flowers, the concepts of pollination, and maybe even the role of bees as pollinators. (Bandri and his tribe were closely integrated into their natural world, and did not need sophisticated tools to understand such relationships.)

Languages and tools helped to change our world and to change us. Communities gave us the opportunity to develop culture and knowledge, as well as the ability to love or to hate, to plan or to plot, to defend or to attack. There is scarcely any passion without struggle. We are also the only beings that can reflect on the past and think about what might happen in the future.

We needed to recognise and to know which plants and animals were food or were helpful, and which were dangerous. Cave paintings depict determined looking figures risking their lives to extract honey from precarious cliff-side bee colonies. Honey hunting represents one of man’s earliest pursuits and continues to this day in many countries. (Bandri and his tribe would have been active honey hunters of the plentiful colonies of honeybees, and also stingless bees.)

Honey was an energy-rich food, prized for its’ taste and symbolism. It was easily portable and long-lasting which means that it would have been a valuable aid when mankind was on the move, during hunting or warfare, and when migrating on land and sea. Honey was an important part of the diet for many cultures and it was frequently used as a medical aid. For millennia honey has had a special place in our culture and society.

Honeybees accompanied Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and during the mythical Golden Age honey dripped from trees like rain water. In ancient Egypt taxes could be paid in honey, and honey found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs has been tasted by archaeologists and found edible. After his death, Alexander the Great’s remains were preserved in a huge crock of honey.

Many cultures regarded honey as a sacred substance which should be the first food to touch the palate of the new-born baby. Cicero described how bees built a honeycomb in the mouth of the infant Plato, which predicted the singular sweetness of his discourses and his future eloquence.

Human civilization blossomed in Asia, around the Mediterranean, and in other regions about 2,500 years ago. There were great thinkers like Plato, Socrates and Aristotle in Greece, and Confucius in China. Ancient Egypt was soon to be conquered by Alexander the Great. Arts and literature were developing independently across the world. The Bronze Age was well-established and some cultures had sea-going vessels. Our story of Post to Post Links II error: No post found with slug "honey-passion" began during this period in history about 2,500 years ago, on the island of Sulawesi which is part of modern-day Indonesia.

Even in today’s technological age, it is still true that most people are aware that honey is made by bees. Honey is that idea of syrupy sweetness, a term of endearment, and wistfully in the half-forgotten phrase the land of milk and honey. The word honey is added to so many food descriptions and whenever it is convenient to add some sort of sweetener to a phrase. For many of us however, honey itself appears to have become just a minor commodity in a bottle on a supermarket shelf. A new reality however, is that in some countries, most of the honey on the supermarket shelves is not made by bees or is in some way adulterated by fraudsters.

In tropical regions such as south east Asia, the Indonesian and the Philippine archipelagos, three quarters of the plant species rely to some extent on pollination by bees and other creatures. Therefore, the future story of the bee is critical to the future of these countries, and if a society forgets the role of the bee then problems will follow. The primary native bee pollinators are the large wild honeybee (Apis dorsata) and the smaller Asian honeybee (Apis cerana). There are also small stingless bee species that are pollinators. In a healthy tropical eco-system these native bee colonies would be present in large numbers.

Some countries, such as Vietnam have a society that is generally aware of the role of bees and beekeeping, resulting in a positive pollination environment, and high agricultural yields for fruit crops.

In the Philippines however, the vast majority of the population, and even most farmers and their ‘advisors’, continue to remain disastrously unaware of the role of bees and pollination. The continuing depopulation of the native bees, caused by unmanaged honey hunting and other factors, is resulting in increasing ecological and agricultural damage. Many smaller islands have lost their populations of the large wild honeybee, and even larger islands are on course to loose their populations unless awareness and attitudes improve. Lack of understanding also means that the smaller Asian honeybee has been removed from about a half of the land area, and stingless bees are in decline. Largely due to insufficient pollination, the yields and production of many fruit crops such as mango and coffee have been in perpetual decline over the past decade, and consequently rural communities are suffering. This situation has been exacerbated by large-scale, factory-made fake honey which is sold in the supermarkets, and bought by millions of innocent consumers who are unaware of the fraudulent honey business. Sadly, state officials might be corrupt or intimidated, or may fail to understand and act on the issues. Further information is available on the website.. http://beephilippines.info

Other issues such as Colony Collapse Disorder are also revealing that we need to remember that honey is only available to us because the honeybees are also doing the vital job of pollinating the plants on which we depend.

Honey is part of this story of passion and tropical islands. I hope that it has described realistically the way in which the story of honey is linked to our own human story. Also, I hope it may help to raise awareness of our pollinators.

Posted in Apis cerana (Ligwan), Apis dorsata (Putyukan), Apis mellifera (European), Bee populations, Crop yields & pollination, Educational materials, General posts, Honey | Leave a comment

Update on Honey Fraud investigation by FDA

They are currently coordinating with other FDA units as part of the investigation on this matter.  The meeting of the Product Recall Committee was convened last February 24 and it was decided that they will be collecting more samples from the market prior to conduct of laboratory analysis for the honey.

The helpful and informative email from the FDA is attached below…

FDA email update on Honey Fraud investigation

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Status of honey fraud investigation by FDA

Many people have emailed me directly and some have put comments up on the website on the topic of how effective the investigation by the FDA will be into Honey Fraud in the Philippines.

I have just emailed the person in charge of the FDA investigation asking for any update information, and hope to have a reply soon.

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The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) & honey fraud

The FDA will now start an investigation
into the fraudulent honey trade

On the 14th January the FDA sent the following emails…

Evidence emails from FDA 140115

Background to this intervention by the FDA

Some Philippine citizens believed that there may have been some sort of ‘improper understanding’ between the FDA and the fraudulent honey trade. For example, a long-established and respected beekeeper gave me a verbal account of how he had tried to ask the FDA in a meeting about what was being done about the CEM operation and that the nature of the responses were evasive and implied that this had already been dealt with in some way – although he was given the distinct impression that he was not going to be told how it had been dealt with.

The FDA had been contacted many times by myself and others about the problems of honey fraud over an extended period.  Apart from the automated email response, I had received no response from the FDA, until September 2014 when there was the first indications that the issue was being considered.

I thank the FDA management for taking this step, and I am sure that many other people will also be appreciative of the action being taken by the FDA.

Hopefully the result of the investigation will make important and much needed improvements in the regulation and implementation of the honey trade, so that fraudulent, adulterated, fake and mis-labelled products can be removed from the market-place.

Only when the retailers and public can trust the quality and provenance of honey products is it possible to have an honest and genuine market-place.  The value of honey as a vitally important by-product of pollination by bees will then be better understood and realised which will be a critical factor leading to improved crop yields and incomes for millions of rural people.

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Honey Fraud in Supermarkets Evidence 2.

Attempts by CEM to silence reasonable public interest questions about the source of their ‘honey’ food products, and the company’s possible connection to other corrupt activity.

As a ‘customer’ I had tried to ask CEM many times about their ‘honey’ products but CEM would not respond.  They would however respond to a large supermarket retailer.  After many emails (over a 12 month period) via the large supermarket retailer, the CEM company actually responded directly to myself (but only after I informed CEM that I intended to publish the ‘Pollination in the Philippines’ study report).

Here is the exchange of emails, and below the emails is the factual summary …

Email sent by CEM to myself on 29/11/13:     Evidence 2 email1

Email sent by myself to CEM on 29/11/13:      Evidence 2 email2

Email sent by CEM to myself on 2/12/13:        Evidence 2 email3

Email sent by myself to CEM on 2/12/13:        Evidence 2 email4

Email sent by CEM to myself on 3/12/13:        Evidence 2 email5

Email sent by myself to CEM on 3/12/13:        Evidence 2 email6

Factual summary   If you have had the patience to read the emails there are several facts that emerge….

1)  The CEM company will not provide me or anybody with any substantive source information about their products.  They are not prepared to demonstrate or prove that their products are genuine honey.  (Because they cannot provide this information and are afraid that the truth will be exposed:- their products are fraudulent!)

2)  The attempts by CEM management  to ridicule truthful information demonstrates their attitude to the facts and their attitude to their retailers and customers.  They are only interested in their ability to run a profitable operation even though it is fraudulent, and detest any enquiry or interference regardless of the reason.

3)  When it became clear to CEM that I was not going to be intimidated or otherwise silenced they stopped responding to any communication, and have refused to offer any facts about their products or company even though they claim that ‘our customers’ benefit is always top of mind’ (see previous post).

4)  The CEM emails above include elements of anger and irrationality but their strategy for silencing public interest questions about their operation is still open to conjecture.  I am trying to make every effort to ensure ‘due diligence’, and so that I do not report anything that is unfair or illegal.  Their manner of insisting on a meeting indicates that they were trying to avoid truthful disclosure by alternative methods. A distinct and likely possibility is that they may have been trying to oblige me into silence by getting me to agree to a ‘bribe’ of some form.  (The next post includes the possibility that the FDA may have been corruptly influenced by the commercial honey fraud trade to avoid investigation.)

5)  CEM refer to the use of lawyers yet no legal case or contact has been made.  Possibly there might be some inadequate trading description of ‘honey’ as a ‘syrup of glucose and fructose with some added components’ that covers their ‘commercial honey’, and that their labels of ‘Raw Wild Honey with beehives and bees etc’ counts as just ‘brands’ which technically could be a legal loophole?!  However they are clearly selling their ‘honey’ as genuine 100% Philippine bee honey, and so such a case would have as much credibility as selling poor photocopies of a masterpiece such as the Mona Lisa as if it was the original painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

CEM and the FDA have been informed of any published honey fraud articles on this website, including this very post.  CEM are welcome to offer their own comments (which will not be edited in any way) for the readers of this website.  If CEM consider that any of the information provided here is inaccurate then surely they can state the facts from their point of view, otherwise CEM leave people to draw their own conclusions!

Note: This post follows on from the articles…

Offer your opinion in the ‘Leave a Reply’ form below….

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Honey Fraud in Supermarkets Evidence 1.

In the public interest the following 3 posts contains actual emails which form part of the extensive range of evidence about the CEM ‘honey’ fraud.

How CEM lies to supermarkets to cover up the fraudulent CEM ‘honey’ operation.

Note: This post follows on from the articles…

Click on this link to open Evidence 1 email or click on the image below..Evidence 1 email

This is an email sent to a large supermarket retailer by CEM about the source of their ‘honey’ products.  The email contains several lies and also diversionary half-truths which are exposed below …

Lie 1: ‘we would like to make clear that our company fully support small bee farmers around the country where our honey is sourced from’.
Truth 1: No Philippine bee farmers supply CEM, and CEM do not ‘support’ any of them.

Lie 2: ‘our customers’ benefit is always top of mind etc’.
Truth 2:  As will be seen in the next post, CEM have a distain for their customers, have no website, no published contact number and no customer contact interface. CEM will not respond to customers (unless via a large retailer). This is because they run a fraudulent business and do not want their customers to know the truth.

Lies 3, 4 etc and diversionary half-truths: ‘The sourced honey then undergoes processes to make it viable for public use etc etc.’
Truths 3, 4 etc and other truths: Pure bee honey does not need to undergo the factory processes described. Why would a hard-working beekeeper allow his precious bee honey to be ruined by CEM and then sold under their label at a fraction of the price that a beekeeper could have obtained for his genuine honey?!  CEM is trying to confuse the retailer since the bulk of their product is factory-produced to try and simulate ‘genuine bee honey’. The bulk of CEM’s ‘commercial honey’ is essentially cheap industrially made fake honey which is sold to the public as genuine Philippine bee honey. (The chemicals used and the factory heating process produces the ‘sour’ taste often commented upon by customers. Genuine bee honey has a complex natural construction and a different taste which is not matched by CEM ‘honey’.)

Factual summary: CEM was essentially asked from where they sourced their ‘honey’, and they lied repeatedly to try and cover up their fraudulent operation.

(There is a large amount of email and other evidence including chemical analysis to back up this assertion. Other posts on ‘honey fraud’ also provide further information.)

This industrial site generates the CEM ‘honey’ productsEvidence 1 industrial site

CEM product2The truth is that CEM have no ‘bee farms’ and no Philippine beekeepers supply them with bee honey.  No Philippine bees are involved in the manufacture of CEM ‘honey’, despite the claim by CEM that they ‘fully support small bee farmers around the country where our honey is sourced from’.  Their labels are essentially another big lie. CEM will do almost anything to ‘avoid the truth’ and continue a fraud which cheat retailers and millions of customers.

Both CEM and the FDA have been sent copies of the information provided here, so that they have the maximum opportunity to comment on the details provided in these articles.

Offer your opinion in the ‘Leave a Reply’ form below…

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Merry Christmas !

Merry Christmas gif

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Rafters for Putyokan wild honeybees

Click on this link to see the use of Rafters or Tingkus

In some parts of Indonesia local techniques called Tingkus are used to manage Putyokan (Apis dorsata) colonies so that honey harvesting is easier.  This technique is similar to ‘rafter beekeeping’ in Vietnam, and has great potential in the Philippines.

This technique comes close to the ‘cultivation’ of the wild honeybee, and could greatly improve the potential honey harvested.  This also avoids the ongoing destruction of wild colonies which is causing so much damage to bee populations and crop yields.

Rafter or Tingku

A Tingku is made of roughly planed wood plank, or a tree trunk.  The lengths of the planks vary between 2.0 and 3.5 m, with widths of 10-25 cm, or 10-20 cm diameter for tree trunks. According to the honey collectors, wood 3-10 cm thick is strong enough to support the honeybees’ nest.

Reference …

Bees for Development journal 64

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A story about honey & passion

This story may have begun when the first flower opened and a bee alighted, seeking its food of pollen and nectar.  Bees have been discovered in amber over 100 million years old, frozen in time, as if immortalized in their own honey.bee in amber

Please click on “Post to Post Links II error: No post found with slug "honey-passion"” on the main menu to see the chapters as they are gradually added which will take the reader on a trek through history with the people and the passion they felt as the journey unfolds.

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Social & economic responsibility of supermarkets

‘Four reasons why bees are better than footballers’

The British (UK) government minister Liz Truss  says Britain’s bees need to be treated like Premier League football players – but perhaps we should value them more than football’s best paid (1).  Here’s why…

1) Honey money  – Even though British Premier League footballers are the highest paid in the world there are good economic reasons why bees are worth more because of their value for pollination and food production.
2) Good bee-haviour – Research by Harvard’s School of Public Health suggests the chances of getting stung by a bee are approximately one in 6 million.  Bees normally only sting when they feel their hive is threatened, or they are put in danger (i.e. you sit on one).  According to the New Statesmen the chance of being bitten by the football player Luis Suarez (OK, if you happen to be playing against him) is around one in 2,000 (though he has promised never to bite anyone again).
3) Caught by the buzz – Premier League and former Premier League footballers have been jailed for a range of crimes including assault, sexual assault, rape, possession of drugs, and operating a brothel.  No bee has ever been convicted in UK law for a criminal offence. We suspect this may be true across all global jurisdictions.
4) Bees’ needs – Though it can be difficult to collate specific data on populations, a wide variety of threats are damaging bee populations – from [honey hunting] to neonicotinoid pesticides. Bees need the support of supermarkets to help provide food security for the future and to help the economy as a whole.  (British Premier League football players have increased in number nearly 100% since the league was formed.)

UK supermarkets understand the need for social & economic responsibility with products like honey

Supermarket companies in the UK ensure that only genuine bee honey is stocked. Many large supermarkets such as the Cooperative and Waitrose actively try and support bee pollinators (2), (3). This is because they have understood how vital they are for the economy and food production – the business of supermarkets!

Philippine supermarkets have yet to understand this vital issue

Large supermarket companies in the Philippines stock mostly fraudulent ‘honey’ and so are undermining the economy and food production  – because many crop yields in the country are dwindling due to the lack of pollinators caused in large part by honey fraud!

References …

1) Four reasons why bees are better than footballers – UK government minister

2) Cooperative UK supermarket company supporting honeybees

3) Waitrose UK supermarket company supporting pollinating bees

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